Russia Was Never the Real Scandal

Photograph by Joshua Frank

Robert Mueller won’t be filing any more indictments related to the “Russiagate” investigation.

Though the search unearthed ample evidence that Russia wanted Trump to become president — and hints that some members of Trump World were perhaps aware of this — the recent summary declared no concrete findings that the two camps knowingly “colluded.”

The president, naturally, is declaring victory. And his anti-Mueller attorney general is preemptively clearing the president of related obstruction charges, it seems.

Of course, this won’t end the president’s legal troubles. Lawsuits have piled up related to emoluments and sexual harassment. And legal and congressional inquiries into his taxes, business dealings, and possible campaign finance violations are, in various stages, underway.

What it should end, however, is the incredibly naive belief that someone was going to wave a magic wand and make all this “Trump stuff” go away.

This was a hope that “the system” itself was fundamentally sound and would correct itself, expelling all this unpleasantness like a bad burrito. Trump himself cast the investigation as an effort to de-legitimize his electoral college victory, and this wasn’t entirely incorrect.

The thing is, evidence of much more serious “collusion” — with corporations and the wealthy — has always been hiding in plain sight. Though these unique excesses of the Trump era have gotten some coverage, they were…

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